Earlier in the week, Marcus took a look at the top prospects in the Chicago Cubs system and today, in part two of our four-part Rival Rankings series, I take a peek at the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals finished in first place in the National League Central last season with a record of 100-62. Their farm system ranks in the middle of the pack entering the 2016 season but they have a knack for developing prospects and have a handful of players who could surprise again.
1. Alex Reyes (RHP) – One of the top pitching prospects in baseball, the 21-year-old Reyes will miss the start of the 2016 season after receiving a 50 game suspension following a positive test for marijuana.
2. Jack Flaherty (RHP) – The 34th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 draft, Flaherty went 9-3 with a 2.84 earned run average in 18 starts last season for Low-A Peoria.
3. Magneuris Sierra (OF) – Signed by the Cardinals out of the Dominican Republic, Sierra split last season between Johnson City and Peoria, hitting a combined .259 in 104 games.
4. Tim Cooney (LHP) – Selected out of Wake Forest in the third round in 2012, Cooney made his big league debut last April and in six starts with the Cardinals, went 1-0 with a 3.16 ERA.
5. Marco Gonzales (LHP) – The 24-year-old lefty has appeared in 11 big league games for the Cardinals over the past two seasons, going 4-2 with a 4.82 earned run average.
6. Luke Weaver (RHP) – Drafted by St. Louis with the 27th overall pick in the first round in 2014 out of Florida State, Weaver went 8-5 with a 1.62 ERA in 19 starts for High-A Palm Beach last season.
7. Nick Plummer (OF) – The left-handed hitting Plummer was the Cardinals first round pick last season, hitting .228 after signing with 43 runs scored for the Cardinals GCL affiliate
8. Edmundo Sosa (SS) – Signd by St. Louis out of Panama, Sosa saw action in 49 games for Johnson City in 2015, batting .300 with seven home runs.
9. Junior Fernandez (RHP) – An 18-year-old righty out of the Dominican Republic, Fernandez went 3-2 in 11 GCL contests last season, earning a promotion to High-A Palm Beach where he made a pair of late season appearances.
10. Charlie Tilson (OF) – A second round pick of the Cardinals in 2011 out of high school, Tilson hit .295 in 134 games for Double-A Springfield in 2015.